By Hocine Loukkaf on 3/26/2021
Even if no real stars got traded, several teams added starters to their roster, with Orlando and above all Chicago as the biggest winners of the night.
-Chicago Bulls (19-24)
Despite solid years in Chicago, Carter Jr had never reached the expectations as he was often slowed down by injuries. Chicago decided to move him and several players including Porter Jr, Gafford and Hutchinson to add experience in the paint and versatility with All Star Vucevic, Boston’s Theis and swingman Troy Brown from Washington. While Vucevic wasn’t able to help the Magic go far in the playoffs, getting one of the most solid defensive big men in Daniel Theis allows the Bulls to limit the risk they take with Vouch. Brown has been interesting and could come from the bench to play positions 1 to 3.
-Orlando Magic (15-29)
With only one positive record over the last ten years (42-40 in 2018-19), the Magic had to get rid of a star trio (Fournier, Gordon, Vucevic) who couldn’t help the team being competitive. While they couldn’ t get much for Fournier who will be a free agent this summer, they added talent and first round picks for the future. Yet, they also take a risk by trading for injury-prone players. By sending Gordon, to Denver, they acquire Gary Harris, a tough minded two-way player who has only played 19 games this season, former HS star and rookie RJ Hampton and a future first round pick. From Chicago, sending Vucevic allowed them to get another injury-prone young player, Wendell Carter Jr, SF Otto Porter Jr and two future first round picks. We’ll need at least 2/3 years to see the result of these deals.
-Miami Heat (22-23)
The struggling Heat needed to add players and while it may not have been their first target, they pulled the trigger when they had the opportunity to trade for Oladipo. The former Indiana star wasn’t happy in Houston but he wasn’t as performant as he used to be despite his stats (21.2pts 4.8rbds 5as) as he shot a poor 40% FG including 32% from three. We’ll see how Oladipo will fit as the Miami roster is loaded with guards with Herro, Nunn and Butler (albeit playing mostly as point forward). Losing Olynik will also put pressure on Adebayo and rookie Achiuwa but the fact they acquired Bjelica (11.5ptd 6.4rbds 42% 3pt last year) from Sacramento for Harkless and Silva brings balance.
While Theis’ trade to Chicago ma have been caused by the rise of Robert Williams, it’s far easier to understand why the Celtics tradede for Fournier, without losing any asset (Teague and two future second round picks). Boston needs a real threat a the SG spot and Fournier will have the opportunity to thrive in their system and bring is shooting and offensive versatility.
Fresh off an expensive summer where they signed Rondo on a two-year $15m contract, the Hawks may have thought the neded more offensive impact as the traded for former local HS star Lou Williams. Lou Will was playing less than last year for the Clippers but was still efficient (12.1pts 3.4as 38% 3pt) and will bing muc needed help from the bench for ,a team which had been hot (albeit against average competition) before their two recent losses.
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